Post Mauryas-Kushana, Kanishka, and Sangam Age

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Detaild Map of Kushan Empire

Kushan Empire

Detaild Map of Kushan Empire

  • The Kushanas were a branch of the Yue-chi who responsible for conquering Bacteria and expelling the Sakas from the Bacterian borderland towards south.

  • In the early part of the 2nd century B.C., the Yue-chi was living in Kansu and Ninghsia, west of Huang ho River. They were defeated by the Hiung nu about (170 B.C.), and driver from their home.

  • Kiu-tsiu-kio and Yen-kao-chen of the records of the later Han dynasty have been identified with Kujula Kadphises and Wima Kadphises.

  • Cunningham reads the title 'Devaputra' on two of the Bull: Bacterian camel type.

  • The two epithets Dharmathida (Dharmasthita) and Sachandhra mathida (Satyadharmasthita) may prove that Kujula was either a Buddhist or a Saiva by creed.

  • Yen-Kao-chen or Wima Kadphises:

  • Apperars to have succeeded his father in about 64 B.C. and ruled upto 78 B.C.

  • He is referred as Maharaja Rajadhiraja Devaputra Kushana; the status was discovered in the Devakula at Mat, 9 miles from Mathura.

  • Annexed Taxila and Punjab.

  • He was a Saiva

  • He issued a large number Gold and Copper conies.

  • His Empire laid between the two other Great Empires Chinese and Roman


  • Succeeded in 78 B.C. founder of Saka Era, titles: Devaputra and Rajan.

  • Hiuen Tsang tells that Purushapura (modern Peshawar, also known as Shahji-Ki-Dheri) was his capital.

  • The Fourth Buddhist Council was organised.

  • The Sarnath Buddhist Image Inscription dated in the third regnal year of Boddhissattva at Benaras by Mahakshatrapa Kharapallan and Kstrapa Vanaspara.

  • The Gold and the copper coins issued by him bear the figure of the King usually shown standing and sacrificing of the King usually shown standing and sacrificing at alter on the obverse, and deities' legend is Shaonano Shao Kaneshki Koshano.

  • The coins indicate direct contact with the Roman Empire and their weight system seems to have affinities with Roman Dinars.

  • They also adopted the silver coins on the basic of the Greek coin denomination Drachma.

Sangam Age

Source Material

  • Second and thirteenth rock edicts of Asoka mention the Chola Pandya Satiyaputa, Keralaputa (Chera) and Tambapanni (Ceylon).

  • Satiyaputa identified with Kosars in the Kongu country (Salem and Coimbatore).

  • Kharavelas Hathigumpha inscription mentions Tramiradeshasanghtam confederacy of Tamil states (155 BC).

  • Sangam Age has been also called Augustan Age of Tamil literature and it has been mentioned by Appar.

  • The venue of Sangam literature was Madurai, under the patronage of Pandyas.

  • 1st Sangam:

    • Venue: Tenmadaurai

    • Chairman: Agastya

    • Number of kings attended: 79

  • 2nd Sangam:

    • Venue: Kavatapuram

    • Chairman: Tolkappiyar

    • Number of kings attended: 59

  • 3rd Sangam:

    • Venue: Madurai

    • Chairman: Makkirar

    • Number of kings attended: 49

Entire Collection

  • 2279 poems by 473 poets besides 102 anonymous pieces.

  • Poetry was divided into two main groups:

  • Agam: on love and Puram dealing with Kings.

Sangam Literature:

  • First three centuries A.D.

  • 8 Anthologies: Ettutogai: the greatest monument of Tamil Literature.

  1. Narrinai

  2. Paripadal

  3. Kurundogai

  4. Kalittogai

  5. Aingurunuru

  6. Ahananuru

  7. Padirupattu

  8. Purnanuru

Political History of Sangam Age:

  • Purnanuru Land divided among three crowned Kings (Chera, Chola and Pandya) and a number of minor chietains.

  • Cheras: Royal Emblem:

    • Bow Capital:

      1. Vanji or Karu or jtaruvur; and

      2. Marandai Territory: Tiruchirapalli

    • Titles: Vanavar, Villavar, Kudavar, Kuttuva, Malaryar

  • Kings: Udaiyajeral: (C. 130 AD)

    earliest known

  • Nedunjeral Adan:

    • He became adhiraja as he defeated seven crowned kings.

    • Also captured some Yavana merchants.

  • Senaguttuvan : (C. 180)

    • Celebrated by poet Paranar. He established Puttini cult of Kannagi.

    • But his achievements have been much exaggerated by later works.

    • Greatest known as 'Red Chera'

    • Highlighted by Parnar in Purnanuru

    • Silapaddikaraiji describes his heroic deeds.

    • Ilango Adigal, the author Silapaddikaram was his brother.

    • Went to the north to make image of Goddess Kannagi.

  • Perunjeral Adam: (180-190 A.D.)

    • Puram and Aham poems informs about him.

    • He starved to death with his received back injury in the Battle of Venni.

  • Cholas: Royal Emblem: Tiger Capital:

    • Puhar (coastal Uraiyur (inland)

    • Territory: Lower Krishna Valley

    • Titles: Sennis, Valavan, Killi-Senni,

  • Kings: Karikala

    • Pattupattu gives information about him.

    • Pattinappalai gives a vivid idea of the state of industry and commerce.

    • Poems suggest that he was follower of Vedic cult.

    • Silapaddikaram informs about him

    • It attributed with conquest of whole India up to Himalayas.

    • Attributed with construction of flood banks on Kaveri.

    • A number of other victories enabled him to establish a sort of hegemony over the crowned kings and an extension of territory under direct rule.

    • Karikala promoted reclamation and settlement of forest land and also built a number of irrigation tanks.

    • Civil war in the Chola kingdom mentioned by Kouvur Vihar between Nalangalli and Senguttuvan also intervented in one such war.

    • Two other Chola Kings have been mentioned and both of them seems to have defeated the Cheras.

  • Pandyas: Royal Emblem : Carp Capital: Korkai (Coastal)

    • Madurai (Inland)

    • Territory: Lower Krishna Valley, near modern district Tirunnelveli

    • Titles: Minawar, Kaviyar, panchavar, Tennar, Seliyar, Valadi

  • Kings: Palvagasalaj Miirtalaidiimi

    • Earliest known

    • Mentioned in Sangam literature as a great conqueror a patron of poets and performer of amny sacrifices

  • Nedunjhenlian:

    • Defeated Chera and Chola in the Battle of Talaiyalagnam

    • Sent two emphasies to Augustus.

    • Good rule prosperous farmers and traders are mentioned.

    • According to Silappadikaram in a fit passion ordered the execution of Kovalam, the husband of Kannagi.

  • Economic Conditions; Specialized towns:

    • Uraiyur: Cotton Trade Bandar Pearls Kodumanam: Rare Jewels,

    • Musiri: Emporium, Madurai: Textiles,

    • Masalia: Muslin,

    • Dasarna: Ivory,

    • Puhar: Horse,

    • White Salt Korkai: Fisheries,

    • Pannikkaralari: Weapons factory

  • Port / Towns:

    Naura (Connanore) Tyndis (Tondi Ponnali) Muziris (Musiri, Cragnanore) Nelcynda (Kottayan) Bacare (Porakad) Argu (Uraiyur) Sopatama (markanam) Poduca (Pondicherry) Balita (Varkalai) Comari (Colehi or Korkai) Puhar: artificial port Saliyu: Ports of the pandyas Bandar: Leading port of the Cheras Musiri: Cannore, from where the Yavanas entered with Gold and Left with pepper.

  • Imports : Items

    1. Great quantity of coins:

    2. Topaz;

    3. Antimony,

    4. Crude glass,

    5. Copper, tin and lead,

    6. Wine,

    7. Coral,

    8. Realgar,

    9. Wrought Lamps,

    10. Figured Linens

  • Exports : Items

    1. Pepper

    2. Fine pearls

    3. Ivory

    4. Silk

    5. Various precious stones

    6. Gems

    7. Diamond

    8. Tortoise Shell

    9. Malabathrum

  • Internal Trade: Angadi: Market, esp urban market,

  • Avanam: market place,

  • Vaisigas: merchant community.

The Deccan Early Vakatakas:

  • Founder of the dynasty was Vindhyashkti; a Brahmana of the Vishnuvriddha gotra.

  • Performed a number of Vajapeya sacrifice.

  • The Ajanta inscription of Harisena described him as dvija; succeeded by his son Pravasena I (270-330 AD)

  • He is styled Samrat, or universal monarch.

  • He performed four Asvamedha sacrifices and Sapta-soma-samstha or Soma sacrifice.

  • Two Capitals: Purika and Chanaka.

  • His second son was Sarvasena.

  • Servasena founded the city of Vatsagulma, modern Basim in the Akola district. Ahhiras;

  • They seem to be foreigners, lived between Herat and Kandhar

  • Isvaradutta, can be called the founder of the dynasty.

  • They fought against Kadamba king Mayurs-ramana.

  • The Allahabad Pillar Inscriptions mention the name of Abhiras as tribe, which were subdued by Samudra Gupta.

  • Abhiras were subjugated by Traikutakas.

  • Traikutakas:

    • Founder: Indradutta, his son was Dharasena

    • They were defeated by Kalachuris.

  • Ikshvakus:

    • Main centre: Ayodhya

    • The founder was Santamula (Chamtamula I) in 3rd century A.D

    • He has known to perform several Asvamedha and Vajpeya sacrifices and most probably defeated Satavahanas.

  • Brihatphalavanas:

    • Mentioned in Ptolemy's book called Geography and Hathigumpha Inscriptions

    • Jayavarman, earliest king, was a Saiva.

    • Headquarters: Kundura (Masulipatnam) also called Gantasala.

  • Salankayanas:

    • Main centre: Masulipatnam was capital.

    • They were feudatories of Satavahanas; Hastivarman was the earliest king, defeated by Samundragupta

    • Salankaynas means nandi.

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